Vehicles in Motion

Three vehicles were involved in an accident--a pickup transporting a four-wheel ATV, a flat bed trailer transporting a forklift, and an auto hauler tractor trailer. So, what was the accident sequence? How did the forklift end up on the engine of the auto hauler?

The motions of the vehicles were established from a study of the gouges, tire marks and fluid stains in and around the roadway. The accident sequence began when the four-wheel ATV rolled off the trailer that was being pulled by the pickup. The ATV then crossed the center median, colliding with the flat bed tractor hauling the forklift. The impact damaged the steering axle of the flat bed tractor, causing the flat bed tractor trailer to cross over the median and collide with auto hauler.

As to the final location of the forklift, the auto hauler struck the flat bed trailer, damaging the trailer tandems. The magnitude and direction of impact also caused fracture of the vertical restraints holding the forklift in place. The forklift was then released from the trailer and ended up on the engine of the auto hauler.